I love that my freelance work affords me the flexibility to spend an entire Friday afternoon immersed in lunch. Last week I attended The Foodie Bugle lunch party for contributors to the magazine, held at a country home in deepest Wilshire. Of all the times in my life I’ve ever wished I hadn’t driven to an event, this was it. The party started with drinks in the parlour where The Foodie Bugle had actually set up – I joke not – a Negroni cocktail table.
I’ve never met a more sociable group of foodies, all chatting together in one room. As I nursed my small glass of champagne and Campari, I got to know “official barman” Martin Yarnit of Taste for Bologna blog, Ben Vear of Winstones Ices ice cream, Dan Vaux Nobes of the popular Essex Eating blog and Montpelier Basement supperclub in Bristol and Emma Bond of Bath Garden Design and Bath Gardening School. I also caught up with my friend and colleague Rachel Demuth of Demuths Restaurant and Vegetarian Cookery School.
Lunch in the kitchen – dining room started with a beautiful “end of summer and beginning of Autumn” tomato and butternut squash soup served with delicious focaccia and crostini. Afterwards, a bounty of dishes to share, with plenty for vegetarians and fans of “dead barnyard animals and birds” alike. Fagioli all uccelletto was my favourite dish, made with haricot, butter and borlotti beans cooked with garlic, chilli, tomatoes, cavolo nero and rosemary.
The Foodie Bugle also served beetroot cooked with apples, red onions and toasted hazelnuts – an inspired dish that showed off the cook’s uncanny ability to create delicious things out of simple ingredients and seasonal food.
Animals and birds included lamb shanks cooked in Manzanilla sherry and fennel; Peposo – shin of beef with garlic and black pepper cooked in Chianti; saffron scottiglia game hunter’s stew; and chicken liver pate on crostini.
All was perfectly rounded out by a fresh green salad with fregola, nasturtiums and pinenuts.
My dinner neighbours included Charlie Lee-Potter (@eggsontheroof) of Eggs on the Roof and Urvashi Roe (@BotanicalBaker) of the Botanical Baker blog and Great British Bake Off fame. Lots of chat ensued about food, photography, journalism, blogging, baking, and, well, just the sort of topics you’d expect amongst a group of food lovers. I was also introduced to Pascale Cumberbatch who takes very beautiful pictures of food, published in her food blog Extra Relish.
Dessert was a meal unto itself:
- Pistacchio Cake
- Apple, raisin and Amaretto di Saronno cake
- Torta di Capri – chocolate and almond cake
- Quinces roasted in a lemon zest, vanilla seed and thyme sugar syrup
- Honey and coconut kisses
- Lemon biscuits and mini meringues
- Winstones Ices Ice creams
There were also about 12 different cheeses from Quayles of Tetbury, Paxton and Whitfield, Woefuldane Organic, Legges of Bromyard and Trethowans Dairy. The day was heaven for a cheese-lover.
The afternoon ended as well as it began, with guests gathering quinces from bountiful tree. I took home a few handfuls and have great plans for roast quinces and quince sorbet. The Foodie Bugle lunch lives on in my kitchen.
Attendees at The Foodie Bugle Lunch Party
Rebecca is a freelance garden, food and interiors photographer based in Bristol.
Françoise Murat & Associates specialise in creating ecological and sustainable environments through creative contemporary interior and garden design. Francoise also Blogs about gardens and interiors on the Sarah Beeny website www.tepilo.com.
Martin Yarnit and Liz Cousins
Martin is the author and Liz is the photographer of “Taste for Bologna” food blog. They live at Whitbourne Hall on the Herefordshire / Shropshire borders, which is a wedding and party venue surrounded by a beautiful garden.
Monica is a freelance food writer and internet consultant.
Ben Vear is a fourth generation Cotswold ice cream maker and author of “Make your own Organic Ice Cream” published by Spring Hill Books.
Twitter: @Benjaminvear and @WinstonesIces
Dan Vaux Nobes
Dan Vaux Nobes is a cheesemonger at Trethowans dairy, author of the “Essex Eating” food Blog and, along with his girlfriend Elly Curshen of the Pearcafe in Bristol, runs the Montpelier Basement Supper Club.
Twitter: Dan @essexeating and Elly @pearcafe
Tory McTernan – Collins
Tory is a food photographer and she is married to the private chef Paul Collins.
Twitter: @torymct and @ChefPaulCollins
Cinead is the Deputy Editor of The English Garden and The Edible Garden and she is married to the garden, food and people photographer Jason Ingram.
Mark is the Director of Jump To, a multimedia and marketing company based in Oxfordshire. They provide website, product and packaging design as well as corporate identity for some of Britain’s best known food and drink brands.
Pascale is a professional food photographer, stylist, writer and author of the food Blog “Extra Relish”.
Charlie is a journalist, writer, book reviewer and author of the food blog “Eggs on the roof”.
Camilla is PR and Communications Manager at Daylesford Organic and Bamford.
Emma Bond is a Bath based landscape and garden designer, plantswoman, founder of The Bath Gardening School (at the Bath Botanical Gardens) and gardening writer.
Urvashi is a baker inspired by botany, a contestant on the Great British Bake Off programme on BBC2 and the author of the food blog “The Botanical Baker”.